Brazilian Pavilion, Giardini, Venice, Italy

Venice Biennale 2019: Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca: Swinguerra

Swinguerra, 2019, by Barbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca at the Brazilian Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition Biennale Arte 2019.

“Damn!” Reminiscent of a TV show you want to tell all your friends about, ‘Swinguerra’ (2019) by Brazil-based artists Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca, showcased at the Brazilian Pavilion of the 58th Venice Biennale, felt honest and communicative in a human-to-human way. This artwork possesses all the qualities you would want to find in a friend: empathy, humility, off-beat, daring and an absolute joy. Review by Laura O’Leary

Further reading +

Various across Leeds and Wakefield

Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019

Shea Butter Three Ways

Yorkshire-born artist Barbara Hepworth made several sculptures bearing the title ‘Form With Inner Form’. The inaugural Yorkshire Sculpture International festival tackles a similar inside-and-out movement, somehow taking up residence within, and broadly encompassing, the established frameworks of sculptural art in Leeds and Wakefield. Enveloping (whilst also pulsing through) the county’s four best museums, YSI feels like it’s trying to be both heart and ribcage at once. Review by Adam Heardman

Further reading +

Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Military Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, Ireland

Kim Gordon: She bites her tender mind

Proposal For A Dance (still)

Kim Gordon first came to prominence in the mid-80s as a member of the noise band Sonic Youth - co-founded with her ex-husband Thurston Moore and active until 2011, when both the band and marriage dissolved. Since then Gordon has become a polymath: releasing music from several projects, embarking on an acting career, writing the acclaimed ‘Girl in a Band’ memoir on her years in Sonic Youth, and focusing on her visual art practice that took a backseat during her tenure with the band. It is this last category that sees us drawn to Dublin’s Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) to see Gordon’s latest exhibition ‘She bites her tender mind’. Review by Aidan Kelly Murphy

Further reading +

Estonia Pavilion, c/o Legno & Legno, Giudecca 211, Venice, Italy

Venice Biennale 2019: Kris Lemsalu: Birth V – Hi and Bye

Installation view,  Kris Lemsalu: Birth V – Hi and Bye

The reverie of the crowd is suddenly interrupted by the sound of a drum, accompanied by isolated notes on a synthesiser announcing the beginning of a ritual. Three straw hats appear to be floating over the heads of the crowd towards the entrance, a trio of shamans perched on a moving chariot. Review by Angela Blanc

Further reading +

New Zealand Pavilion, Palazzina Canonica, Venice, Italy

Venice Biennale 2019: Dane Mitchell: Post hoc

Dane Mitchell, Post hoc (detail), 2019. Mixed media installation. Palazzina Canonica, New Zealand Pavilion, 58th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia

Dane Mitchell’s works frequently oscillate between presence and absence, deliberately treading the line between materiality and immateriality. In ‘Post hoc’, his installation for the New Zealand pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale, Mitchell explores the notion of loss and extinction, through a never-ending list of obsolete things including: animal and plant species; political parties; words and languages; laws; media formats; and scientific notions. Review by Anna Souter

Further reading +

Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014, USA

Whitney Biennial 2019

Tete d'Homme

The 2017 edition of the Whitney Biennial is remembered for the animated debate surrounding the inclusion of a controversial painting by Dana Schutz titled ‘Open Casket’ (2016). It spurred an open discussion about cultural appropriation, white privilege and freedom of creativity. It divided much of the art world and prompted a discussion panel with The Racial Imaginary Institute titled ‘Perspectives on Race and Representation.’ The painting ultimately remained. Despite the best intensions of curators Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley, this year’s Whitney Biennial wallows yet again in controversy. Review by Anaïs Castro

Further reading +

HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, First Street, Manchester, M15 4FN

David Lynch: My Head is Disconnected

Bob finds himself in a world for which he has no understanding

'My Head is Disconnected' spans 50 years of David Lynch’s non-filmmaking career. It is also one of the flagship offerings at Manchester International Festival, a bi-annual festival of new arts commissions which locates itself in venues both established (like HOME) and a little more unconventional (an underground brewery). The main gallery at HOME, one of the more serious festival venues, is filled with drawings, paintings, assemblages, lithographs and lamps - more on these later. The work is rich in depictions of internal torment interior and exterior spaces, children and insects. So far, so Lynch. Review by Lucy Holt

Further reading +

MK Gallery, 900 Midsummer Blvd, Milton Keynes MK9 3QA

Paula Rego: Obedience and Defiance

Untitled No. 5

Rego’s work is undeniably powerful, both technically and emotionally, but her exhibition at MK Gallery also successfully brings together an incisive selection of key pieces that show her incredible range, from her exuberantly abstract and overtly political early work, railing against the Portuguese dictator Salazar, to the eerier, stiller style that matured in the 1980s and came to define her. Review by Clare Robson

Further reading +

Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High St, London E1 7QX

Myvillages: Setting the Table: Village Politics

Farmers & Ranchers, Deer Trail USA, 2013

Myvillages, the collective behind ‘Setting the Table: Village Politics’, was set up in 2003 by Kathrin Böhm, Wapke Feenstra, and Antje Schiffers. On their website the group give an indicative statement about the exhibition: it seeks, they write, to ‘equip the gallery as a space from where to access our and your own interest and knowledge about the rural’. Review by Harriet Smith Hughes

Further reading +

Towner Art Gallery, Devonshire Park, College Rd, Eastbourne BN21 4JJ

Phoebe Unwin: Iris

Phoebe Unwin, Iris. Installation view at Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne. 2018. Image Rob Harris. Courtesy Towner Art Gallery.

The fifteen, light-infused works that make up London-based painter Phoebe Unwin’s exhibition at Towner Art Gallery give the impression of the snatched in-between moments of life that work together to create memories. The exhibition’s title, ‘Iris’, takes its name from the artist’s late grandmother but it also nods to the workings of the eye as light, atmosphere and objects take their effect on our senses. Review by Clare Robson

Further reading +

French Pavilion, Giardini, Venice, Italy

Venice Biennale 2019: Laure Prouvost: Deep See Blue Surrounding You

Laure Prouvost, Deep See Blue Surrounding You / Vois Ce Bleu Profond Te Fondre, French Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale, 2019. © Laure Prouvost; Courtesy Lisson Gallery, carlier | gebauer, and Galerie Nathalie Obadia. Photography by Cristian

A frenetic filmed odyssey from the utopian Tours Nuages tower blocks of Nanterre in the Parisian suburbs, via the vast expanse of the Marseillais coastline and ending in the grubby canals of Venice, ‘Deep See Blue Surrounding You’ comprises frantic scenes that last just seconds, cutting back to raspberries under rocks, horse hooves on orange peel, performers spewing lettuce, the plump frisson of eyeballs and bum cheeks, and the various jellies of assorted sea creatures. Review by Jessica Saxby

Further reading +

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Abandoibarra Etorb., 2, 48009 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain

Gerhard Richter: Seascapes

Seascape

As you enter the top floor gallery that houses the exhibition: ‘Gerhard Richter: Seascapes’ at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, you would be forgiven for feeling a sudden melancholic jolt. Review by William Davie

Further reading +